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UAE planned to use COP28 to push for oil, gas deals with foreign nations, documents reveal

November 28, 2023 at 5:05 pm

The first preparatory event of the 28th session of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC (COP28 UAE) which will be hosted by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in November, starts, on March 15, 2023 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. [Waleed Zein – Anadolu Agency]

The United Arab Emirates has been planning to use its role as the host of the upcoming COP28 climate summit to push for more oil and gas deals with foreign governments, in the latest controversy to emerge regarding its hosting of the conference.

According to internal documents obtained and reported on by the organisation, Centre for Climate Reporting (CCR), and which were reportedly verified by an anonymous whistleblower, the Emirati politician and COP28’s President, Sultan Al-Jaber, planned to discuss fossil fuel deals with 15 countries during the climate conference which is set to begin this week.

Amongst the proposed topics to be discussed by Al-Jaber with foreign government officials were the UAE’s aim to be taken off Brazil’s ‘tax haven’ list in order to facilitate new investments from the Emirati state-owned renewable energy firm, Masdar, which Al-Jaber is CEO of, as well as the aim to consider a possible deal with China over liquefied natural gas projects. The stance of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) to stand “ready to support the supply of petrochemicals to Egypt” was also to be brought up.

READ: UAE’s Jaber urges Pre-COP28 summit to align on fossil fuel, renewables language

The United Nations’ climate summit – which will be held in the UAE’s city of Dubai for two weeks and will be attended by around 70,000 delegates from countries around the world – aims to result in further actions and resolutions that can be taken to resolve issues surrounding climate change.

The UAE’s planned use of the conference for oil and gas deals, therefore, directly opposes its purpose, providing yet another point of controversy surrounding the Emirates’ role as host for this year, along with its poor human rights record.

According to a COP28 spokesperson who responded to the revelation of the leaked documents, they are “inaccurate and were not used by COP28 in meetings”. The spokesperson also condemned the BBC’s article on it – which was in cooperation with the CCR’s revelation – as “extremely disappointing to see the BBC use unverified documents in their reporting”.

READ: Will the UAE COP28 roadmap help the region for the energy revolution?